"Maliki's mad dash to acquire arms through non-American contracts is partly to diversify his sellers and thereby lessen his dependency on the United States. But the effort is also about the recognition that Iraq needs external defense capabilities, especially in a region that is becoming more dangerous and volatile. In Maliki's eyes, Syria can soon become a hostile state that is aligned with rivals like Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia," he said.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden recently asked Iraq for help in stopping weapons from reaching Syria. Opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's rule are concerned about the shuttling of arms to his government by entities such as Iran. Iraq, which borders Syria and Iran, has ties with Iran.
Al-Maliki has said Iraq had been displeased "with some informal U.S parties of stirring suspicions about Iraq's position toward Syrian crisis." He said Iraq has held a "firm position in rejecting any weapon supplies or violent activity over Iraq's territories or its air spaces," according to a release from his office.